By Di Pritchard
As I opened my eyes to a warm 6am temperature last week, I noticed something splashing about in the water bowl in the garden near my bedroom window. Something was struggling to get out of the slippery sides of the half-full bowl. Thinking it was a trapped honeyeater from the grevillea above, I hurried out to find a frog enjoying the water. What a treat!
In the exceptionally hot weather we have been experiencing in our region over recent weeks, I have placed water bowls and pots around my garden. I fill these each morning to supplement the birdbaths and water lily ponds so that the wild birds and insects can access fresh water easily, and without stress.
I have been rewarded by visits from many varieties of birds. Honeyeaters enjoy playing in the sprinkler in the morning. Lorikeets and starlings splash in the birdbaths, wattlebirds dive into the fountain, even the occasional kookaburra has used it as a diving pool and king parrots and rosellas swoop on in for a drink too.
Bees and wasps also hover around the edges of pots of water to get a drink. And now a visit from a frog.
As we humans adapt to the changing climate and try to cope with the impact of human activity on our climate, we can be rewarded by giving thought to birds and insects in our gardens. I’ve learned to make sure to give them a helping hand if the pot’s sides are slippery by dropping in some rocks for them to perch on.
If you’re keen to provide water for wildlife in your garden it’s worth considering the different preferences and requirements of the animals you wish to attract.
As many insects can’t swim, they need somewhere to stand while drinking. Butterflies and honey bees will even sip from damp soil. You might have seen videos recently of goannas, koalas and echidnas taking a dip in deeper bowls and troughs. And creating a ‘frog bog’ provides habitat beyond the summer and a chance to watch their entire lifecycle.